Capt. William J. Forrest

Friday, 21 February 2020 11:35 Written by  Published in Dignity Read 1677 times

Capt. William J. Forrest

Sergeant William J Forrest   Sgt Wm. Forrest 1907 (The Father)

This was brought to me as if it was one person; turns out there are two entrance on duty dates, making this a father, son team.. Still the son, served nearly 50 years... 46 years and 8 months to be exact. To figure out when Inspector Forest began his career we'll work backwards from his "Final Roll Call" The Obituary listed in the Baltimore Sun, Mar of 1967- This may be the longest working police our department has ever had, (or so his nephew says) This could have been true at the time, as he did serve the near 46 years and retire at 70 years of age or greater. But better we have a son following in his dad's footsteps and doing what every father wants, he surpassed his father's great job on the force and went on to become one of the longest working police, making it from Patrol to Inspector, from a time when horses and wagons were used to a time when automobiles were used, and before he left the K9 unit was in affect.

There is an article where he was mentioned in 1897 when he was being considered for promotion to Sergeant, (At the time you had to have either 3 or 5 years in patrol to be considered for Sergeant, if we go with the lessor of the two and say 3 years, 1897 consideration would mean he may have been on since 1894. Bobby Brown looked into it for me and came up with a start date for the father of  1888, and was promoted in 1903 (1-12-1903) .

The father was mentioned in the Sun Paper in 1904, twice, both times he was Sergeant, the first was 30 May 1904 the second was 28 Oct 1904. He can be seen in the 1907 Blue Book "Baltimore Police History", he is pictured and was Sergeant.

In 1911 his son follows in his footsteps,  he was promoted to sergeant on 5-8-1918, and to Lieutenant on 6-1-1922. It is the son that appears in the paper in 1922 (article below) Sometime between the 1918 and 1922 date, Wm. J Forrest Jr was promoted to Round Sergeant. In 1946, the Sun Paper has the son William J Forrest Jr Listed as Captain, and in 1955 he is listed as Inspector. He retired in 1956, and passed away in 1967. During his time on the force Inspector William J Forrest Jr, was commended 4 times in 1922, 7 times in 1923, 4 times in 1924 and 1 time in 1925 for a total of 16 commendation of a 46 years career.

The Father and Son would show up in the news more than what you will find on this page, but these were some of the reports found, or sent to us... We'll try to separate the reports out so we'll know father from son. These articles, from 1922, 1930, 1946, 1955, 1956 and 1967 are all from the son's career. In the 1956 article, 21 Aug 56 to be exact - The report said the City was honoring Inspector Forrest at a luncheon. The Baltimore Sun began its report by first thanking the Inspector Forrest for his nearly 46 years faithful service” which would make the Inspector near 70 years of age at the time of his retirement.

Between Father and Son they saw major changes in law enforcement, a father coming on in 1888 when the Mounted unit was begun, and the Son retiring in 1956 when the K9 unit was founded. One saw the years of wagons and Bobby Caps, the saw motor vehicles, and what would become the best K9 unit in this country, perhaps the world. The things this family saw in law enforcement.

In 1967 The Sun Passed away, born in 1876, made him 91 at the time of his death. Survived by his wife, Nettie Lockwood Forrest; a daughter, Miss Frances Forrest two brothers, Julian I. Forrest who retired as a major in the Police Department, and Carroll Forrest; as well as a sister. Mrs. Helen Meyers, all of Baltimore. I am not sure how long he was on, but will include everything we have found and that was sent to me, so you can take a look for yourself.

The Following are reports of both the Father and the Son...

1967 – 5 Mar, 1967 A requiem high mass for William J. Forrest, a retired Baltimore city police inspector will be offend at 10 A.M; Tuesday at the Immaculate Conception Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues. Towson. Mr. Forrest. who lived at 333 Dixie Drive, Towson, died Friday night at Franklin Square Hospital after a stroke a month earlier. Mr. Forrest retired in 1956 as an inspector after 48 years in the Police Department. As inspector he commanded a number of police operations including be Southwestern, Southern Pres and Northwestern districts and the Pine Street station. Backed Foot Patrolman. A police administration or the old school Mr. Forrest argued that the foot patrolman was the nucleus of the police force. Unlike radio patrols, he said. Foot patrolmen have a personal knowledge or their beats. Inspector Forrest became a foot patrolman in 1911 and was promoted to sergeant, round sergeant, lieutenant and captain before being appointed an inspector in 1946. Formed the Sanitation Squad among his tasks as inspector was the organization of a sanitation squad to inspect rooming houses to see that they met standards of the city housing code. He received 9 commendations for arrests of murderers and burglars over his years with the Baltimore Police Department. His survivors include his wife, the former Nettie Lockwood; a daughter, Miss Frances Forrest two brothers, Julian I. Forrest who retired as a major in the Police Department and Carroll Forrest; and a sister. Mrs. Helen Meyers, all of Baltimore. (The Son)

1956 – The Baltimore Sun Paper wrote an article on the then retiring Inspector William J. Forrest Jr. in the article he is thanked for his nearly 46 years of “faithful” service. News reports from his time as a Police Sergeant, a Round Sergeant a Lieutenant, Captain, and finally Inspector, lets, keep track of those years… and well either have proof of a start date, or enough evidence to conclude his start date.  1st Sun paper’s report on the City’s honoring of Inspector Forrest at a luncheon, where on 21 August 1956 the Baltimore Sun begins its report by first thanking the Inspector Forrest for his nearly 46 years faithful service” they then introduce some of those in attendance, such as Mayor D’Alesandro, they also mention the police commissioner (James Hepbron) as being present, along with many other City and State officials, of varying ranks ranging from Patrolman, to Chief Inspector. The Ballroom of Emerson Hotel shortly past noon, on this day was filled to capacity. Inspector Forrest himself worked his way up through the ranks, and at age 70 (according to the paper) he is survived by no one who has been a Baltimore policeman longer.  Anselm Sodaro, State Attorney acted as Toastmaster at the head table, where the guest of Honor was flanked by his wife, and a daughter, Miss Frances Forrest. There was no "Principal speaker," but many a police official were expected to follow the Mayor in reminding the inspector that this was "his" day. A gift the nature of which was kept secret, was ready for the presentation. It was the result of contributions from every member of the police department. Jerome J. Sebastian. Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore will offer the prayer. In charge of the arrangements for the luncheon was is Police Inspector by the name of Bernard J. Schmidt. (Side Note: Bernard Schmidt, who went on to become Baltimore’s Police Commissioner from 1961 to 1966... Early in PC Schmidt’s tenure as Police Commissioner he was in an elevator in the old Headquarters building when a young patrolman entered same; after a few floors the PC turns to young officer and asked if he knew who he was? The young man apologized, but said he did not know. PC Schmidt said it is OK, and that he understood. It wasn’t long after that day, in that elevator, that pictures of the Commissioner were hung in roll call rooms of all 9 districts so everyone would know what the PC looked like, a tradition started).  Anyway back to 1956… The luncheon was held and went off without a hitch… except for the line about 46 years’ service... - So let’s begin (The Son)

1955 – In 1955 the Sun Paper made a report on a Use of Force report against 2 Patrolman (9 Aug 1955) Inspector Forrest at the time (Listed as Police Inspector William J Forrest) it was reported that Inspector Forrest was assigned to investigate the charges that the two officers of the Southwestern administered a savage beating to a man they had arrested the Friday before 5 Aug 1955. The suspect was charged with disorderly conduct. The investigation reports made out by the accused patrolmen. Benjamin Leddon and Charles Butka, have not yet been supplied, Inspector Ford said. When all the official reports are in, he said, they will be made available to Inspector Forrest for use in his investigation. The alleged victim of the beating, John Minnick, 27 of the 1000 block of West Lombard Street, was arrested after police were called to break up an incipient fight at a tavern in the 1100 block of West Pratt Street. 1 Unmarked When He Got In Witnesses said the fight never developed, but! Minnick was! Arrested on the street outside. At a hearing in Southwestern Police Court Saturday morning it was stated in testimony that Minnick was unmarked when he got into the police patrol car for the three block ride to the station, but that when he was seen later at the station he was almost unrecognizable. Police said he required hospital treatment the accused patrolmen said they were forced to battle with Minnick because he tried to grab Patrolman Leddon's gun. One of the policemen was injured in the struggle. The court was told Magistrate Howard L. Aaron fined Minnick $25 for disorderly Conduct, suspended the fine and jailed him for 30 days on charges of assaulting the two policemen. This report was made Aug 9, 1955 (The Son)

1946 – In 1946 the paper reports Capt. William J. Forrest has been promoted to Inspector and has two police Lieutenants have been promoted to Captain. (10 Jan 1946) It went on to say, Inspector Forest will be placed in the command of the Southern and Central Districts. Lt Alfred Cormack has been named to succeed Inspector Forrest as captain in the Northwestern District, and Lieut. Thomas S. Dunn, of the Northeastern District, will assume command of the Southwestern District to fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of Capt. Lawrence King. With filling of the fifth inspector's position, created by the last Legislature, Commissioner Atkinson announced that the city's eight districts will now be divided between four ·or the inspectors. Inspector Joseph H. Itzel will Command the Eastern and Northeastern districts, Inspector John H. Mintiens will head the Northwestern and Northern districts and Inspector John R. Schueler will be placed in charge of the Western and Southwestern districts. M. Joseph Wallace is chief inspector. (The Son)

1930 In Early December 1930 He was listed as a Lieutenant in the arrests of two robbery suspects accused of robbing a luncheon owner of $11 dollars at gun point. It took the good Lieutenant’s men a total of 15 minutes to capture these two desperados. The victim in this case was a, John Furman proprietor who runs a lunch room in the 1100 Block of Haubert Street. The incident took place at around 10 o’clock am when two armed men came in, one pointed a gun at him and demanded his daily take. Furman, handed them all he had approximately $11 dollars (his startup money, as this is a luncheon and the Robbers came in well before lunch time, they only got startup money for the day). The men were captured and arrested by Southern District Patrolmen John Peters and Martin Contey. Once at the Station the men identified themselves as Earnest Frost, 24, and Delmar Bull 22, both were sailors (this was an issue with Baltimore as far back as its founding days as a Port City, whereas criminals would come in on ships, commit crimes then either get back on the boat to leave the city, or a criminal transient simply move about the city without a trace) In this case, the police found $11 on one, and a pistol on the other. – The second incident titled Robbed at Gun Point, tells of Max Feldman, the owner of a Deli in the 4700 Block of Gwynn Oaks Ave, reported to the police that two men robbed him of $20 at gun point the night before. Feildman said one of the men about 25 entered the shop and asked for a sandwich, a second man drew a pistol and told him to get into the rear room. The two then took the $20 from the cash drawer. William T Sherwood night manager of the Guilford garage, Calvert and 34th Street reported that a man tried to steal an automobile from his garage at around 10:30 last night, as Sherwood attempted to stop him, he drew a pistol. Sherwood wisely backed off and let him go (without the automobile) In his same report City Police were on the lookout for three escaped suspects out of the Frederick City Jail, the three had sawed their way out, they said, one of those arrested had a diamond filling in his tooth, that was somehow used to saw through the bars to freedom, (I guess you could say they chewed their way out) And now we hear more about our Famed Lieutenant Williams, as Mr. Friedman saves $300 by picking it from the floor of the Callow Ave Streetcar on which the robbery occurred. One of the thieves had dropped the loot on the floor while taking the entire amount from the grocer’s pocket. The Robbery was accomplished by jostling Mr. Freidman so that he did not feel a hand slip into the inside pocket of his suit coat. So violent was the jostling Mr. Friedman was about to tell the two men, one in front of him the other behind to leave him alone when he noticed the money on the floor of the car. He noticed too that his pocket was empty and his Bank book was gone. The Struggle followed the theft, Me Friedman grabbed for the nearest thief, the second thief joined in the fray and the three men left the streetcar at Liberty and Redwood Streets. They fell to the street and two $50 bills from the $300 Mr. Friedman had salvaged fluttered to the ground. Mr. Freidman stopped to pick up the money and the two thieves ran, one east on Redwood street and the other west on the same thoroughfare. Cased by Patrolman, A cab driver, Anthony Aquilla, 18 was sitting in his parked machine near the car stop when three men left the trolley. He called a patrolman Mr. Friedman and the Patrolman got into a cab and followed the pickpockets east on Redwood, losing him in a crowd at Charles Street. Then Mr. Friedman, who lives at 1233 South Cary Street, went to the Western District where he told his story to Capt. John S Cooney and Lieutenant William J Forrest. So from this we not only get a little history of the times, by we see in in 1930 Inspector Williams was a Lieutenant (The Son)

1922 – Monshine raid made late September 1922 Southern district police, headed by Lieutenant William J. Forrest and Sergeant Clarence C. Kendall, yesterday 20 September 1922 raided 415 South Hanover Street, where they charge, they discovered a 200-gallon still, a 100-horspower boiler, 18 50· gallon fermenters, 500 pounds of rye meal and eight gallons of moonshine liquor. They arrested Albert Leuba and Arthur Chicks, both of 125 West Barre street, who were turned over to Edward J Lindholm, deputy internal revenue collector, who seized the illicit outfit. Leuba and Chicks were arraigned before J Frank Supplee Jr, United States Commissioner, and held for a hearing September 29th  Sumuel .J. Hall and Chester E. Nolas, of Rising Sun Md., were released on bail for court after a hearing before the Commissioner on charges of manufacturing and possessing liquor. The charges developed from the discovery of a 200-gallon still at Rising Sun. Palmer C. Rakes, also arrested. was held on an additional charge of resisting and obstructing an officer. A continuance was ordered in the case against Norman A. Clark, whose address was given as 543 Wayne street, accused of being the principal in distilling operations at Earleigh Heights, Anne Arundel county, where a 1,000 gallon still was found. M Carenda and William Woods are implicated under the warrant of arrest. David King, negro, arrested at the time, turned Government witness. Joseph Feriara. Russell Torres and Herman Constantine, of Baltimore, and Delmar Sutphin and Edward Wilkins, of Hising Sun, charged with manufacturing and possessing liquor, were released on bail for court. (The Son)

1907 History of the Baltimore Police Department 1774-1907 Original book released in 1907, Lists William J Forrest on Page 56 with a photo, as a Sergeant, at the time in order to meet eligibility requirements as a Sergeant, one had to have at least 3 years in Patrol, and while we have him in a 1907 Book which would make him a member since at least 1904, we have other news articles putting him in the news in 1904, also listed as Sergeant, meaning we are looking at 1898/99 – But then, there is a final article in which they were considering him for promotion to the rank of Sergeant and that was 12 May 1897. So assuming it was his first chance for promotion, and he came on 3 years earlier 1894… and he retired in 1956 it would mean he did 62 years on force, now assuming he came on at 21 years of age, he would have been 83 at retirement not 80 as was believed. We already know the newspaper was incorrect as to the 1911 date they gave him as a start date, their own articles show he was on in 1897, 1904, 1907, 1922, 1930, 1946, 1955, and 1956. The main question now is, was the 3 year rule in affect, and is so did he start in 1894 or 95. (The father)

1904 – 28 Oct 1904 (the year of the Great Fire) the Baltimore Sun article Titled “Policemen Transferred” subtitled Sergeant Carberry Sent to Northwestern Distirct’ It began by saying, “The Following changes were made yesterday 27 October 1904, by the Board of Police Commissioners: Sergt. William J. Forrest Northwestern to Central... it names an additional 7 Sergeants or patrolmen that were moved around before continuing… The Changes were made “for the good of the Department” and ere brought about after the hearing of the case of Sergt. Carberry, who was before the board shortly before the changes were made? The three patrolman removed from the Central District were in Sergeant Carberry’s squad and testified against him at a hearing. It was decide at the hearing that there was much feeling among the men and that it would be best to scatter them apart. Patrolmen William L Thomas, who testified against the sergeant, was allowed to remain in his district. Probationary Patrolman George J. Will, of the Western district, was made a regular patrolman and Alexander H. Hobbs was made a probationer and assigned to the Central District by Orders of the board, Detective Todd Hall was given $25 donated by Mr. Allen Mclane in investigating the death of Mayor McLane. For services rendered by the detective in investigating the death of Mayor McLane. Detective Hall reported that the death of the Mayor was accidental. (The father)

1904 – 30 May 1904 Two raids were made In the Northwestern district Yesterday why officers in plain clothes under the direction of Capt. Schultz. Shortly after 1 o'clock in the morning Round Sergeant Thomas Hood, Sergeant William J. Forrest and Patrolmen James E. Abbott and Harry Webster entered the saloon of George L Jeannert, 589 Baker street, and surprised the 19 occupants all colored. All bands were sent to the station in the patrol wagon, it being necessary to make two trips. Justice Goldman committed Jeannert for court on the charge of selling liquor on Sunday. The saloon of Mrs Kate Keaveney, at 540 Dolphin street, was raided about noon by Patrolmen Robert T. Neal, Albert McLane and Peter Coughlin, of the Northern district. When the officers entered the place they found five negroes standing before the bar and there was a rush tor liberty. One dashed through the house and made his escape by leaping over the rear fence. The other four were taken to the station, with several glasses of beer. Mrs. Keaveney was released on bail tor court by Justice Goldman on the charge of selling liquor on Sunday. (The father)

1897 – 12 May 1897 - Patrolman Plum's Promotion. The list or patrolman’s names considered as eligible by Captain Baker and prepared the day previous was produced. It contained the names of Plum, Miller, Forrest, Bishop, and Green. Commissioner Johnson named Plum. (The father)

captain william forrest
Captain William J Forrest Son
later promoted to Inspector

inspector william forrest badge1
Original Inspector badge and case belonging to Inspector William J Forrest

inspector william forrest badge2The original badge issued to Inspector William J Forrest

While we can see this isn't the same holster, or for the same make model gun, we can see it is made by the same leather smith, we can see that portion where the two straps come together and look like a seven almost, and that it is unique to both holsters - We can also see from information in the photo that this was custom made for a Smith & Wesson "Baby Russian"  a .38 Cal. Revolver often carried by our Police back in the late 1800's early 1900's - we should also note, that during these time a lot of officers carried their pistols in their pocket, hence the need of a pocket holster. We have had several serious injuries, even some deaths caused by this seriously unsafe method of carrying a weapon.

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The following are Holsters one time owned by Inspector Forrest

The following two Holsters were purchased from a seller of antique firearms, leather and other police related Antiquities. This seller was selling these for Charles "Charlie" Klein, Charlie is 84 years old as of the time of this post (April 2014) he said he got these from his Uncle William Forest, a one time Inspector.   

 57iPocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's
 57iiPocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's
 59Pocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's
 57iuyAudley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914
 57audyAudley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914

765Audley Saftey Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914
 57 17On the right we see the rear of the Audley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914
On the right we see the rear of the Audley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914

The Audley Safety Holster Company was established in the early 1900s, prior to 1905, by F. H. Audley who had previously been a Saddle, Harness and Boot maker. These were trades he had learned early in life as a young boy and developed over 30 in the Saddlery and Harness business.

Having started his own saddlery business in New York, at 2557 Third Avenue (Near 139th Street), in approximately 1876 and operating until 1885, F. H. Audley closed his business and went into business with Mr. P. H. Comerford remaining in Saddlery, Harness & Boot making. In 1891, Frank H. Audley went back into business himself and although making quality saddlery and boots, he struggled over the next 10 years until the turn of the century.

In the early 1900s, F. H. Audley moved his shop to 8 Centre Market Place, across from Police Headquarters and it was at this time he starting getting a lot of exposure to Police equipment. From this time, F. H. Audley filed many patents for various pieces of Police equipment which he developed and sold to many of the New York City Police Officers that utilized he services from his accessible location.

The most famous of these inventions was the Audley Safety Holster which F. H. Audley applied for patents in 1912 and they were approved October 13, 1914. The holster incorporates a spring loaded steel catch in the body of the holster which securely holds the pistol in place. It can only be released by using the index finger to depress the catch. It is virtually impossible for anyone other than the person wearing the holster to do this. No other retaining strap is required.

They were popular with many officers in WW1 and were also used by many American Police Departments. The Audley Company was taken over by the Folsom Arms Co., which in turn was absorbed by the Cortland Bootjack Co, and eventually became the JayPee holster company. This particular model was probably used by a motor cycle or horse mounted officer of the 1920-30 period.

Francis H. Audley Died in May of 1916 and by chance, I was able to find a copy of the Obituary from the New York Times May 11, 1916

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Last modified on Friday, 21 May 2021 08:16
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